Five Point Decision Making

Have you ever made a decision and then continued to evaluate the situation wondering if you really made the right decision? Second-guessing is a way of life for many of us. Sometimes we rush into decisions without taking into consideration all of the contributing factors. At other times, we predetermine a course of action and try to make it look as if we made a decision when, in fact, we simply rationalized self-edifying behavior. Let me introduce you to a way of thinking that?if put into practice?might revolutionize your decision making process.The Five Point Decision Making process walks you through five questions that you can consider when making most any decision. Maybe you are considering purchasing a new home, changing jobs, buying a new car, or painting the dining room.

Your decision might be ethical or moral in nature. If you will learn the five points of decision making, you will be ready to move forward.Many people are paralyzed by decision making. The thought of moving forward is more threatening than sitting still and doing nothing. Because people don't know how to make decisions, they allow others to make decisions for them.

It would be great if we could make informed decisions that produce the best possible results.The Five Point Decision Making process can be used for instantaneous decisions and for more deliberate decisions. The process doesn't guarantee you will make the right decisions, but it will force you to avoid impulsive decisions that often have unfavorable consequences.

Visualize a "V" with the first question at the base of the V. Questions two and three are parallel half way up each leg of the V. Questions four and five are at the top of the legs of the V.1.

Where are you? Many people have a warped sense of reality. They have images of reality based in wishful thinking. Making good decisions depends upon your ability to accurately define reality. You must be honest about your situation, thoughts, desires, and motivations. If you can't answer this question honestly, you will never make good decisions.2.

What is option one? Narrow down your possible actions to two choices. It might be a choice between right and wrong or between good and better. The two options might seem equal. Define the option in terms that are void of value statements.

In other words, try to prevent making one option seem better than the other one.3. What are the possible long-term consequences of option one? This is a part of the decision making process that many people ignore.

Every decision has immediate and long-term consequences. Ask what might be the results of this decision in five or ten years. People look at higher education and often dismiss its value because of the immediate costs of time and money. Yet the long-term consequences of the decision not to go to school are more costly than you imagine!.4. What is option two? Repeat the process in step 2 above in response to the second option.

Again, avoid describing the option in value-based terminology.5. What are the possible long-term consequences of option two? Repeat the process described in step three making sure to project the consequences of the decision as realistically as possible.Now, you have an easier decision. Based on the long-term consequences of the options, you can make decisions that you won't have to second-guess. So rather than reliving the past, you can focus on the future and move forward with confidence that you are thinking for yourself and making informed decisions that won't have negative long-term consequences.

And that's something we all need! Think about it!.


Terry Hadaway is an author, motivational speaker, university professor, and conference leader who is recognized as a leading authority on elearning, decision-making, and adult education. His book 30 Seconds to Chaos: Mastering the Art of "What If" Thinking is available through his ecampus store. Visit http://www.rapidfirelearning.

com and click on the banner for more information.

By: Terry Hadaway

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